Ralph Nader: Cynicism is what the power structure wants us to exude

Oct. 25. 2008

“The two parties keep telling us to vote for the winners, and we do and we keep losing.”  – a great civil rights leader from Flint, MI

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More Than a Two-Person Race

Dandelion Salad

More Than a Two-Person Race

Corporate media largely ignore other presidential candidates

While the major-party race for the White House has been the subject of broad media attention for more than a year, the corporate media have mostly ignored at least four substantial third-party and independent candidates for the presidency.

Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr are both former congressmembers from the state of Georgia. Their presence in the White House race, along with independent candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, would seem to present an interesting counterpoint to the major-party race between Barack Obama and John McCain. While the corporate press has apparently decided that the differences between Obama and McCain are more or less the only political opinions worth exploring this election season, the third-party and independent candidates take positions on issues like drug war policy, Israel-Palestine, civil liberties and military intervention that differ markedly from the views of either major-party candidate.

According to a Nexis news database search of the major network newscasts, McKinney’s name has never been mentioned this year on the networks’ news programs, while Barr and Nader’s candidacies have garnered a total of only 31 mentions between them (15 times on ABC, 12 times on NBC and 4 on CBS). Including the Fox network– which airs Fox News Sunday on its broadcast affiliates–yields one passing mention of Nader, and an interview with Barr (6/29/08). PBS‘s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer offered passing mentions of Nader and Barr when they announcements as candidates (2/25/08, 5/12/08); more recently, the show has interviewed each of them one-on-one (10/14/08, 10/20/08).

The context in which Barr and Nader have been covered is worth examining; by FAIR’s count, many of the references to the candidates dealt primarily with the potential effect on the fortunes of the major-party candidates–i.e., whether a third-party candidate would be a “spoiler.” That accounted for 11 mentions of Barr and Nader.

Passing mentions of Nader or Barr accounted for another 13 mentions; four of these were joking or mocking references to Nader. (ABC‘s This Week includes humor clips from late-night talkshows, two of which included Nader as a punch line.)

A March 4 report on ABC‘s Good Morning America discussed the presidential election with a panel of children, one of whom asked, “There’s like another thing, there’s a guy named something Nader…. I think he’s either running for the Green Party or the independents.” ABC correspondent Chris Cuomo misinformed the children by saying “Green Party.”

Actual interviews with the candidates were somewhat rare, but Nader has appeared on NBC‘s Meet the Press (2/24/08) and Nightly News (10/20/08), ABC‘s This Week (6/29/08) and the CBS Early Show (2/25/08). Barr has appeared on ABC‘s This Week (7/16/08).

The main question media tend to pose about third-party candidates is whether or not they will impact the outcome of the election. This is not at all surprising, given corporate media’s preference for focusing on the horserace aspect of politics. The lesser-known candidates’ generally low standing in the polls appears to make it less likely that they will play a decisive role on Election Day, but the media’s refusal to open up the political conversation makes this outcome more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But besides being a process for choosing officials, elections are also an opportunity to discuss ideas. By ignoring independent and third party candidates, the corporate media are also helping keep a range of policy options about key issues that are not espoused by either major party candidate off the table–including single payer healthcare, a full withdrawal from Iraq, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the death penalty. Democracy Now! (10/16/08) allowed Nader and McKinney an opportunity to respond to the debate questions posed to Obama and McCain– a rare opportunity for such candidates to let voters hear them alongside major-party nominees.

Numerous policies that are now seen as integral to American life were first proposed by third-party candidates; Socialist Eugene Debs, for example, promoted the idea of Social Security in his repeated runs for the presidency in the early 20th century, and Progressive Henry Wallace advocated desegregation in his 1948 race.

It’s possible that the minor-party candidates in the 2008 election are suggesting programs that will one day seem as indispensable as Debs and Wallace’s ideas. If so, you won’t hear about them from the corporate media.


How Should You Vote? By Jeremy R. Hammond

Debatable Debates by Ralph Nader

Breaking the Sound Barrier: Third-Party Candidates Ralph Nader & Cynthia McKinney Respond

If McCain Wins, Obama’s Policies Get Implemented by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Sunday’s Debate Postponed + Rescheduled Debate: Oct 23

Ralph Nader on NBC Extra: Democrats will have no excuses!

Three Way Presidential Debate – Obama, McCain, and Nader

Noam Chomsky: The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System

Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos


The vicious attacks are starting again by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Oct 21, 2008

When I was in Crawford, Tx at Camp Casey in the Summer of ’05, I would receive hundreds per day. Of course, I am dishonoring my son’s memory and I am un-patriotic and even a “whacko” “nut job” “bat shit crazy” and their favorite: “mama moonbat.” I dared to question their President and the lies that led to my son’s death. I refused to be an appreciative Gold Star Mother wearing a wilted carnation at the Memorial Day observances and accepting my grief in patriotic silence.

At least when I was in Texas, I had some support from some people who agreed with me on the war and about George Bush. Back then it was not too popular to protest the Emperor, but it made me very popular with the “left” and with the “peace” movement. I knew when the right attacked me with such hateful vigor, I was on the right track. Now, most of the country realizes that the war was/is wrong and that George Bush is a dangerous moron.

Now, the “left” is attacking me with the same hateful vigor and personal attacks as the right did back in 2005 because I dare to hold the Democrats to the same standard as I hold the Republicans. Does this mean that I am now a Republican lover? Hell no! I think when we get to the very top of the political food chain the Democrats and Republicans collaborate to steal our money and our freedoms.

Former SF Mayor, Willie Brown who lionized me before, recently called me a “loonie-tune” in his blog on SF Gate and I have been pronounced “insane and delusional” by Markos Moulitsas the editor of the Democratic apologist blog “The Daily Kos.” I am sure that Markos and Willie both have MDs in psychology and are fully qualified to diagnose my mental health without an examination.

Why does Markos think that I am “insane and delusional?” Because my campaign has had a series of coincidences or a run of bad luck that I said might be attributed to the opposition. I never accused Pelosi of anything or said that the attacks were definitely hanky-panky.

Gee, I must be crazy if I could even think that Democrats would tamper with elections like Republicans. It has never happened in the entire history of our country and I am sure that my campaign would be the first. My friends who still work in Democratic politics here in California have been warned not to work on my campaign or they would be “finished” in the party. A former Congressional candidate (D) came to my office and gave me a fund raising list but told me to never say his name because he wants to run for Supervisor as a Democrat here in town. Top Democrats here whisper to me that they will “vote” for me, but they can’t publicly endorse me. At least one very top Democrat is lying about me on the record. I can’t make this stuff up.

To all of you who attack me personally and question my mental health and my motherhood, or whatever, all I can say is “get some perspective.” I buried my son and if you all think that anything you can say or do to me is going to make me stop working for peace and accountability, you are seriously mistaken.

If you (left, right, center or wherever) think that it is okay to support wars, spying, torture, bankster bailouts, environmental degradation and taking away our civil rights; then by all means, live in your world where you think that your political party are the saints and the others are the sinners. It’s all about party loyalty, isn’t it? Tell that to the people who are being killed, tortured or impoverished in your names.

We are back to hundreds of attacks per day.

We must be on the right track, again.

Thank you.

To all of you who have stuck by me and to the thousands of people who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to my campaign, I say a big “THANK YOU.” You know that a true representative democracy demands more voices and more choices, not the two-party monopoly that exists today.

Donate to Cindy for Congress

Debatable Debates by Ralph Nader + Nader’s Ticket to the Debate

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Monday, October 20. 2008

The three so-called presidential debates—really parallel interviews by reporters chosen by the Obama and McCain campaigns—are over and they are remarkable for two characteristics—convergence and avoidance.

A remarkable similarity between McCain and Obama on foreign and military policy kept enlarging as Obama seemed to enter into a clinch with McCain each time McCain questioned his inexperience or softness or using military force. Continue reading

Michael Moore has a List of “Suggestions” for A President Obama

Dandelion Salad


October 20, 2008 C-SPAN

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Full speech: Michael Moore’s Guide To Election 2008


Powell endorses Obama; Sarah Palin tries comedy




Ralph Nader: The People’s Champion

Dandelion Salad


A video bio of Independent candidate Ralph Nader, one of the greatest public citizens in America’s history.

The time has come for an Independent President of the United States…

Video Footage:
“An Unreasonable Man”
“Democracy Now (1/31/08)”
“Who Killed the Electric Car”

“Lazy Moon” by Groove Armada

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Nader/Gonzalez – Radio Ads: Now or Never + NPR Interview

Dandelion Salad



Call to Action!
We need your help to raise $80,000 to reach our radio ad goal of $250,000 by Sunday midnight.
To hear the demo of the radio ad, go you votenader.org and click at the link at the top.

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Vice Pres Candidate Matt Gonzalez on Biden-Palin “debate”

Dandelion Salad


Oct 3, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Vice Pres Candidate Matt Gonzalez on …“, posted with vodpod


No Debate: Secret Control of Presidential Debates + The Ifill Truth: ALL the Debates are Biased!

Joe Biden & Sarah Palin VP Debate

McSexist: Town Hall 10/02/08 + Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008

Geraldine Ferraro & George H W Bush VP Debate 1984

Open the Debates Rally Speech Uncut + Paul Press Conference featuring Ralph Nader

Be a Freedom Writer – Take Action: Open the Debates

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos




McSexist: Town Hall 10/02/08 + Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008

Dandelion Salad


John McCain
Town Hall Meeting
Denver, CO 10/02/08

JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, I’ve had hundreds of town hall meetings around this country for many, many years and I’ve got to say, thanks to you and to you and to you this is one of the more impactful and emotional town hall meetings I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because a women’s town hall.

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Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008


Bush in the debates of 2000 saying almost the exact same talking points Sarah Palin uses in the 2008 debate.

Partisan Politics


Palin Said Shes Known For Putting Partisan Politics Aside. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, We’re known for putting partisan politics aside to just get the job done.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Said Partisanship Needs To Be Put Aside. During the third presidential debate in 2000, Governor Bush said, In order to get something done on behalf of the people, you have to put partisanship aside, and that’s what we did in my state. [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/17/00]

Tax Credits


Palin Called For Health Care Tax Credit. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, “He’s proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there, and they can purchase their own coverage, and that’s a smart thing to do.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Called For Tax Credit. During a 2000 presidential debate, Governor Bush said, We need a $2,000 credit, rebate for people, working people that don’t have insurance, they can get in the marketplace and start purchasing insurance. [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/17/00]

Global Warming


Palin Said She Didnt Want To Argue About Causes Of Global Warming. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, But there are real changes going on in our climate, and I don’t want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Said Questions Remain About Global Warming. During the second presidential debate in 2000, Governor Bush said, ” I — of course there’s a lot — look, global warming needs to be taken very seriously, and I take it seriously. But science, there’s a lot — there’s differing opinions. And before we react, I think it’s best to have the full accounting.” [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/12/00]

h/t: John McStain


Countdown: Palin’s Greatest Hits + Bailout Bill Changes

McCain: If I Was A Dictator Which I’ve Always Aspired To Be!



People Before Politics! by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Sept 30, 2008

Politicians, whether Democrats or Republicans, place their own self-interest as their highest priority. Because our society is sharply divided between the “haves,” who enjoy a monopoly on power and influence, and the “have-nots,” who are alienated from the political process, politicians — for the sake of their own survival — have cynically sided with the corporations in the belief that their own political prospects will be enhanced. Rather than promoting the interests of everyone, politicians are content to promote corporate interests, while throwing a few crumbs to the rest of us to create the illusion we, too, are being served. They accept money and gifts from corporations in order to finance their reelection campaigns and enjoy special luxuries, even though this acceptance places them under an unspoken obligation to help the corporations in return. When running for office, politicians tell the voters what they think voters want to hear. They make promises they have no intention of keeping. Winning at any cost is their guiding principle.

Nancy Pelosi is a politician. She declared opposition to the war in Iraq but consistently votes to fund it. She has offered no analysis of the real reasons motivating the war in Iraq. She voted in favor of invasive wiretapping and immunity for corporations that engage in illegal wiretapping. She has initiated no legislation to fix our ailing schools, health care facilities, the housing crisis, etc. She has accepted money from the following corporations, to name a few of the many: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Comcast Corp, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Because of the loss of her son in the war on Iraq, Cindy Sheehan is pursuing an entirely different set of priorities than the politicians. Her first goal is to end the war so that other families, both here in the U.S., in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, do not suffer the same loss. Unlike Pelosi, she is actively building the antiwar movement, demanding that all U.S. troops be brought home now. She also supports labor union rights; protection of the environment; single-payer health care; free, quality education; gay and lesbian rights; and rent control. She opposes gentrification of neighborhoods that displaces current residents.

This means that the Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign is first about the pursuit and defense of truth, particularly about why the U.S. government initiated an unprovoked war on Iraq. Any honest analysis is compelled to begin with the statement of a senior C.I.A. analyst: “He describes the invasion of Iraq as an ‘avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat but whose defeat did offer economic advantages’… Oil, the author contends, is at the core of U.S. interests in Muslim countries….” (San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2004)

The Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign is also committed to exposing the truth behind the politicians’ disingenuous declarations that they equally represent all the people. In American politics money is in fact power. A recent New York Times article (June 7, 2008) reported that in preparation for its August convention in Denver, “Elected Democratic officials have been calling corporations — meeting with Wall Street executives and flying to San Diego, Philadelphia and Las Vegas — to raise $40 million the party has budgeted for the convention…. Brochures being sent to potential corporate donors … say that ‘as a sponsor’ of the convention, corporate executives will have access to as many as 232 members of Congress, 51 Senators and 28 governors in what is being marketed as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.”

The article goes on to report: “Whereas $1 million will buy the top sponsorship at the Democratic convention, the top sponsorship at the Republican convention … has a $5 million price tag.”

In stark contrast, the Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign, instead of selling favors to the rich and powerful, is dedicated to defending and serving the interests of ordinary working people who, after all, constitute the vast majority of our population. Because we lack a million dollars to wave in the faces of politicians to catch their attention, our needs are systematically ignored and unacknowledged.

While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cause the U.S. budget to hemorrhage, our schools are overcrowded and under equipped while teachers are overworked. Health care facilities are understaffed and underfunded. Global warming is unleashing catastrophic effects on our environment as one part of the country is submerged by flooding while another part is parched dry from drought. Unemployment is surging; inflation is eroding our wages; and millions of us are haunted by the prospect of losing our houses to foreclosures. While rescuing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, politicians have done nothing to significantly alleviate our nightmares.

Therefore the Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign will not rest content with electing Cindy Sheehan to Congress while leaving the entire corrupt political system intact. On the contrary, this campaign is resolved to use a Cindy Sheehan victory to turn the entire political system upside-down. Rather than serving a fabulously rich minority, it seeks to champion the rights and needs of the vast majority of working people who are disenfranchised by a political system based on corporate money.

But such a goal can only be achieved by launching a movement and bringing together the millions of ordinary people who have no voice in the current political system. As isolated individuals, we are powerless, but together we can wield history-making power. However, such a movement can only rise to its historic potential if it proceeds according to democratic principles where proposals are discussed, debated, and determined by a vote. In this way policies can be chosen on the basis of the best argument, not on the basis of who has the most money. With everyone having a voice, we could begin to build a society that is guided by what is in everyone’s interests because the majority in fact would rule. Leaving power politics and dollar democracy behind, we could create a society that is rational, moral, and truly humane.

The Cindy Sheehan for Congress campaign is dedicated to this goal.